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Bikes & Gear

Evaluations & Recommendations

Dunlop Q5S Long Term Track & Street Test

I wondered how the stellar Dunlops would perform long term as both a street tire and trackday weapon. The Q5S tires have a harder center compound for street mileage so I kept them on my Honda Superhawk for the duration of the 2023 riding season for commuting, touring and canyon sprint miles, using them as most riders would for a whole year. Then, last week, after a full year with the tires on the bike, I returned to MotoAmerica’s early summer race venue, The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington for a second thrashing to see how they would fare after a full season of use.

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Yamaha MT-09 Ride & Review

The MT-09 has been a staple in Yamaha’s “Hyper Naked” sportbike lineup for ten years, alongside their MT-07 twin, both best sellers in the American market. We’ve had the opportunity to sample the torquey triple mill in their “Sport Heritage” XSR900 a couple of years ago, and were so impressed with the Tracer 9 GT+ that it won our 2023 Bike of the Year. So when invited out to sample the powerplant in their naked sportbike iteration, I jumped at the chance.

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Motorcycle Tire Spotlight: Shinko 016 Verge 2X

If you haven’t heard of Shinko Motorcycle Tires, I don’t blame you.  Shinko does not have the brand name recognition or racing pedigree of major manufacturers like Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli or Bridgestone.  However, their rubber roots run deep having manufactured bicycle tires since the end of World War II, then purchasing motorcycle tire technology from Yokohama in 1998.  They claim to manufacture about 200,000 tires a month.

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Triumph Speed 400 Ride & Review

The Triumph Speed 400 is that pint-sized chihuahua that comes charging into the dog park, confidently yapping at the bigger canines, who give him a wide berth out of sheer respect (yes, I’ve seen this at our nearby park). It’s that good.

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Motorcycle Sport Touring Tire Shootout- Year 3

Even the journey of ten thousand miles must begin with the single turn of a wheel. This is how year 3 of Road Dirt’s Sport Touring Tire Shootout begins.
When tires are new, they are round and perfect, just as their designers intended, showcasing the technology and engineering their manufacturers have poured into their design profiles. We all love new tires because when they replace flat spotted rubber, our bike’s handling comes to life.

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Sneak Peek: Indian Scout Gets A Makeover

“America’s First Motorcycle Company” introduced this week the next evolution of their iconic Indian Scout. The lineup builds on its rich history with five completely redesigned models, three trim levels, and more than 100 Scout family accessories and farkles for customization and personalization. We got a sneak peek on Tuesday, and already eagerly anticipate the opportunity to take any/all of these for a spin, hopefully an extended one (or two).

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The Budget Biker II: Don The Deal

I’m not sure what really happened or how; do any of us when a nasty habit takes over? Something went wrong. Somehow I was drawn into this lurid world of pre-owned shoes and pants, and most seductive of all, perfectly broken-in jackets. Lord knows what stories their well-worn leather could tell.

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Harley-Davidson Tobacco Fade Collection Motorcycles

We caught wind of a limited line that H-D was introducing this year called the “Tobacco Fade” Collection, but didn’t get to see one at Daytona. We discovered this interesting collection buried deep in the brand’s website, and they are stunning. Inspired by the famous “tobacco fade” finish of so many 6-string and bass electric guitars over the past century, Harley has a recreated the look in motorcycle paint, adorning a run of Low Rider ST, Ultra Limited, and a Tri Glide Ultra bikes with the iconic rock guitar vibe.

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Phil & Rob’s Excellent H-D Touring Adventure

A couple of months ago Rob rang me up (that means phone call for you youngsters) to ask if I would like to ride to Daytona Beach Bike Week and give the new 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Street Glide a go, compliments of the H-D Marketing team. He went on about having a place to stay with his old high school buddy for free or some such drivel – not sure. As an official H-D Fan Boy, I couldn’t focus after I heard “new Road Glide and Street Glide”. Following a slight bump in my schedule we had to push our departure one day which cut our demo ride down a bit but I was still down to see what all the fuss was about with these new baggers.

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